What weird work are you reading now?
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I'm stealing this idea from Thing(amabrarian)s That Go Bump in the Night, since it's interesting to hear about what other people are reading, and it's also generated some pretty good conversations.
I just finished The Other by Thomas Tryon, an author I first heard about in Joshi's The Modern Weird Tale. Even though Joshi gives a fairly spoilerific plot summary, it did not ruin the book for me at all. Just an excellent work, a perfect combination of atmosphere, plot, characterization, you name it.
I'm also reading an anthology of Carlos Fuentes featuring several short stories and the novella Aura. There's some pretty powerful stories, some really surreal.
I'm not sure if this counts as weird fiction (and I'm not reading it yet), but I just picked up a book called Whitechapel Gods. (I have to be honest, the cover grabbed my attention and I'm a sucker for a first time author.)
I'm not one to get hung up on the definition of weird fiction. I kind of like it as a broad category. (But that's all been discussed in a different thread.)
That is a very intriguing cover. Let us know how it is.
The Fuentes anthology (Cuentos Sobrenaturales) was pretty good, although it brought up some (possibly pedantic) questions about what distinguishes "magical realism" from "weird fiction." I think most of the stories in the collection could easily fit into either, though I think that most of them have that sense of dread more associated with horror and weird fiction than with work such as those of Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Isabelle Allende.
Anywway, I'm now reading The New Weird. It's an interesting anthology, though I think it could do a little better job of weaving its thoughts on the movement/sub-genre with the presentation of the stories themselves. Instead it leaves all that material for the last third of the book.
I think that it is the sense of dread or horror that separates 'weird fiction' from 'magical realism'.
If I had to draw the line somewhere, I'd probably draw it there. Although, I'd have to admit the line can be blurry, such as in the titular story of Lucius Shepard's The Jaguar Hunter. (Well, and a couple others in the collection.)
So, I finished The New Weird, which was a pretty good collection. I still think it could have done a better job of presenting what it meant by New Weird and integrating that material into the stories. As is, I mostly got the feeling that the editors that it might be a legitimate label but didn't really want to commit to it.
I'm reading Dracula at the moment. I wish I could have read it without already knowing so much about the book. The plot of the first few chapters consists of Jonathan Harker coming to realise that Dracula, who he is staying with, is weird and dangerous. Well duh. But I'm still enjoying it.
I'm reading another collection in Spanish. This one is called Antologia de la Literatura Fantastica and is available in translation as The Book of Fantasy. It's a nice wide sweep of literature using weird and fantastic elements. There's some of the usual suspects (Dunsany, Poe, etc.) but also some authors I was not familiar with. The most startling surprise so far has been "Ser Polvo" ("Being Dust") by Santiago Dabove, which is about a man who finds himself becoming a plant. It reminds me a lot of Julio Cortazar's "Axolotl."
I'm now reading Whitechapel Gods. I've seen it classified as Steampunk or Science Fiction, but it isn't as focused on the technology as either of those genres normally are.
Peters has created a unique world where the district of Whitechapel has been cut off from the rest of the world. A cancer-like disease (the clacks) is turning people into machines and steel girders seem to grow like trees. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the book so far.
It is a first novel though. I would like to have a bit more description, though I like description more than most. Also there are several threads and characters to follow. I've lost track a couple of times but was able to catch up. For a first time author to try something so out there, I give him a lot of credit.
Well, I'm still working my way through Poe's works, and I'm hoping to finish in the next couple of days. It's been a pleasant surprise to discover Poe's (sometimes quite dark) sense of humor, but I have to admit I'd probably recommend one of the smaller collections to the more casual fan of weird fiction as some of his less famous stuff is a little dull.
I also recently finished 20th Century Ghosts, which has some pretty interesting variety. Overall, I thought it was pretty good, although sometimes it seemed Hill set up an interesting idea but then didn't really take it anywhere.
I have Gil's All Fright Diner and In the Company of Ogres on my TBR pile. I saw A Nameless Witch was out in paperback, but haven't picked it up since I haven't yet read those other two.
Have you written a review for Gil's? I'm curious about it, but not sure about the comparison to Christopher Moore. I read Bloodsucking Fiends and Practical Demonkeeping and liked them well enough, but it felt like Moore was trying too hard to be wacky. If Gil's gives off that same vibe...
Gil's All Fright Diner was one of my favorites of the year. It's comedy, but for me, not so much like Christopher Moore's comedy. Moore always seems a bit forced to me, like he's trying to be clever rather than funny. Martinez didn't strike me that way.
I can go along with that. Gil's All Fright Diner doesn't go so much for clever as just for comedy. A couple of rednecks who happen to be a vampire and a werewolf driving down the road drinking beer trying to solve a zombie problem in a small town. Throw in some ghosts, black magic, a magic eight ball and pig latin and you have a fun read. I really enjoyed the interaction of the two main characters. He's basically poking fun at the stereotypes of the horror genre.
From what I understand In the Company of Ogres does the same for fantasy and is in my TBR as well. I would give Gil's a try as it is a light and easy read and generally entertaining.
I finished this a couple of weeks ago, but I thought I'd give a few final thoughs on The Unabridged Edgar Allen Poe. Reading all of Poe's works was a very interesting experience. I really liked Poe's sense of humor, which could be really twisted. And there's a reason his weird fiction and detective stories have been so influential. But he's not a great stylist, which means sometimes his 19th century writing style was really dull. I compared my reading experience with reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables. Hawthorne is a contemporary of Poe and his prose can be as unnecessarily ornate, per the time period. But Hawthorne can make a long description of a sunny garden a joy to read, which Poe couldn't really do.
And right now, I'm reading Melmoth the Wanderer, which is more gothic than weird, but I'm really into it. It's perhaps not quite as strong as Wuthering Heights, but it's nearly as captivating. More weird and interesting than The Monk and waaay more atmospheric than The Castle of Otranto.
Not quite weird fiction, but I've been reading Lord of a Visible World which is a collection of excerpts from Lovecraft's letters to various people, organized to create an "autobiography" of sorts. It's a really fascinating look at his life and fiction. It's interesting reading HPL's impressions of places in Florida that I had visited when I was younger.
Just finished re-reading Peter Straub's Ghost Story for the first time since it was published (in 1979 - yikes!). It still holds up very well. Some intriguing ideas about just what a ghost might be, plenty of grue, and a couple of superb scenes of fright (such as Sheriff Hardesty's experience in the makeshift morgue). I 'd also forgotten that it's a wendigo tale! It's easy to spot the heavy influence of Straub's buddy Stephen King at this early point, but it all remains pretty good.
I am new to librarything and therefore, I am new to this group now as a fan of weird movies such as horror, sf and fantasy. I am going dig my eyes into some wierd, yet wonderful and I was wondering if you guys could give me any reccomendations on where I should start.
Pretty much all the books listed in this thread are good choices. If you haven't already, I'd start with some Lovecraft and Clark Aston Smith and some Robert E. Howard to get the foundation of the weird tradition. Then, just dive in to the stuff here!
I agree with Dr. Neutron, and I'd also recommend one of the Weird Tales anthologies which usually will have at least one story from Smith, Lovecraft and Howard as well as by other writers of weird fiction. I can personally vouch for Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors as a solid anthology, and I've heard good things elsewhere on LT about the others, such as Weird Tales: Seven Decades of Terror or The Best of Weird Tales.
I just finished the Lost Episodes of Beatie Scareli by
Ginnetta Correli http://www.librarything.com/work/6548479/book/37598113 it was weird, strange and dark.
Just finished a bunch of short stories by Victor Pelevin..absurd/weird.
Currently reading life and death are wearing me out ..pretty strange too.
I am new on this site. Would you be so kind to recommend how to find texts by Pelevin on line. I would love to introduce his books to my French-English speaking husband.
i checked the Pelevin books I read out from UNC-CHill's library; I didn't look for them online. But..if you have access to them, i'd look for a werewolf problem in central russia - a fantastic (in every sense) collection of short stories.
I just finished The Magic Ring, or The Castle of Montfaucon by Baron de la Motte Fouque, a classic piece of weird fiction or at least a precursor to weird fiction as well as fantasy. It's definitely an Arthur/chivalric tale, taking place in the 12th c. and mentioning the Crusades. It was a very exciting read and I can see why HPL and Poe enjoyed the Baron (as well as many 19th century readers). I'm reading some of his other stories now, which are also exciting and entertaining.
Chiming in a little late here. I love Christopher Moore (have done about 5 of his books on audio). Just finished The Shuttered Room and other tales of Horror. These were uncompleted Lovecraft stories finished by Auguest Derleth. Overall I'd call it mediocre and wouldn't recommend it. But Carlos maybe interested to hear that the last story in the book "The Dark Brotherhood" has a bunch of Edgar Allen Poe clones (created by aliens) walking around in it.
Also Carlos, I have a couple books of Lovecraft's letters, I've read most of the first one but I didn't realize that he had ever travelled to Florida. It's especially interesting because I live in St. Petersburg now. Where did he talk about visiting?
Currently reading Freak Like Me which is mostly non-fiction but definitely about as weird as it gets (especially because it's real).
I just joined this group and I look forward to following up on some of the books mentioned above.
I read what jseger9000 says above: "I think that it is the sense of dread or horror that separates 'weird fiction' from 'magical realism'" and was reminded very strongly of some of Tanith Lee's work. Specifically, The Secret Books of Paradys, The Blood Opera Sequence: Dark Dance, Personal Darkness and Darkness, I and The Secret Books of Venus.
Anyway - just my first thoughts on arrival.
Hi, amobogio, welcome to the group.
I've only encountered Tanith Lee in the pages of Weird Tales, where she's consistently got some great stories.
Tanith Lee is actually one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately she has put out some really terrible stuff too. The Flat Earth books are in my top 3 or 4 fantasy books of all time, especially Death's Master (won't load the book). I actually just started reading the first Paradys book 2 days ago. I read the first story a long time ago and thought it sucked so I stopped. But then had a friend say the rest of the book was good.
Finished -Freak Like Me-. It was great. I reviewed it on this stie. Other than that Tanith Lee book I'm also reading Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft which is a bunch of short graphic stories including Hellboy and a beautifully illustrated Clark Ashton Smith story -Mother of Toads-. Also has an interview with a real life witch (wicca) priestess. Pretty good so far.
I recently finished Graphic Classics: H. P. Lovecraft, which was pretty fun. As the intro says, a lot of HPL's stuff lends itself to adaptation. The adaptation of "Herbert West - Reanimator" was pretty good, and really brought out some of the macabre humor. The collection does have it's weak points, which I believe have been fixed for the second edition.
I also just started La muerte y su traje (Death and its suit) by Santiago Dabove, an early 20th Century Argentine author influenced heavily by Poe and Maupassant. Quite interesting.
I'm not really sure to what extent Bruno Schulz fits into the spectrum of the weird, but since I first learned of him through Thomas Ligotti I think of him as at least weird by association. I'm currently reading his Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass, his second and last short book. His short stories are quite captivating re-tellings of his youth through a surreal imagination and talent for language that can be downright intoxicating.
I couldn’t get into Thomas Ligotti, I tried a collection of his short stories Shadow at The Bottom of the world. I guess because while I liked some of the ideas and the atmosphere I couldn’t feel anything for the characters. His short stories may not be the best place to start I guess though. Is there a better place to start?
I don't know how much I can help, because Ligotti is not really much of a character writer. (It's something I'm perfectly fine with, though I realize I might be in the minority.) I think "The Frolic" in the collection Songs of a Dead Dreamer starts off with some sympathetic characters before going someplace weird. Otherwise, his characters tend to be fairly strange.
I've suddenly got a fair amount to read as consequence of being in quarantine at home whilst within the contagious phase of Chickenpox!
I'm an absolute sucker for chapbooks and recently polished off the two titles by John Sunseri "A Little Job in Arkham" and "The Innsmouth Affair" published by Rainfall Books (RAIN 040 and 042 respectively). The chapbooks contain the three Milton Trent stories published thus far (unless you know better!). Trent is a thief par excellence who gets drawn into the Cthulhu Mythos through no fault of his own. They're enormous fun, fast-paced thrillers from a relatively unknown author to date.
I've also just finished "Other Dimensions Volume 2" by Clark Ashton Smith, an old Panther paperback from 1970. I'm a great fan of his work and his imagination puts him, for me, in the genius category. This particular collection is patchy with some great sci-fi and strange tales interspersed with some throwaway filler material. There are much better collections than this one, so one for the established fans and collectors alone I feel. An excellent starter voume for Clark Ashton Smith would be "The Emperor of Dreams", within the Gollancz 'Fantasy Masterworks' series'. It's in paperback, affordable and is an absolute treasure house of some of the outstanding and otherwordly strange tales written by a gifted author from the golden age of pulps.
Reading Infected by Scott Sigler. It is bloody good. Available in print and podcast. The latter you can get on scottsigler.com or download from Itunes. Both are free but you will have to pay for the book you cheapo!
Just started Cold Hand in Mine by Robert Aickman, who described his stories as "strange tales." So far, just read the first story, "The Swords" which features a strange carnival sideshow, a decayed England town, and a peculiar sexual encounter.
Also started In The Penny Arcade, which isn't overtly supernatural but has a sort of weird or fantasy atmosphere. The first story "August Eschenburg" tells of an 18th Century German obsessed with creating mechanical automaton.
I just finished The city and the city by China Mieville, less fantastical as his previous books but I still highly recommend it. A blend of the weird and a police procedural but I think it has more impact the less you know!
I just finished listening to a collection of some of Poe's most famous works. I hadn't read them in some time but found them still very effective. Having creepy stories read out loud is just a bonus.
I've started reading F. Marion Crawford's Wandering Ghosts. I read two of the stories, "The Upper Berth" and "For the Blood Is the Life", in many anthologies but I've never read anything else of his.
I'm currently reading the book The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines--does that qualify as a weird book? It's definitely a slightly different angle of science fiction/fantasy, and I love his take on goblins--at least from what I've read in his Goblin series so far, and in this book, he takes a look at some of the princesses from fairy tales, and of course, the goblins come into play in this book as well.
#43, Totally agree with you on The Bungalow House. Completely brilliant story. For a while there was an audio version available at Thomas Ligotti Online, which I must have listened to dozens of times.
I just finished Conjure Wife from the Fritz Leiber book Dark Ladies. It was really good, very engrossing tale of a college professor who becomes convinced that his wife is practicing witchcraft. He talks her out of it, but that's when things really start to get eerie. Looking forward to Our Lady of Darkness, which is the second park of the book.
I've also been reading some short stories by Gustav Meyrink, author of The Golem. Meyrink was something of an occultist who later became a Buddhist, so there's a bit of the believer in some of the stories, but the couple I've read were quite good.
#14 I enjoyed The Golem it was not at all what I expected though, will have to check out his short stories. Are they similiar at all?
I'm about 100 pages shy of finishing 100 Wild Little Weird Tales. I'm finding a lot of the stories to be fairly formulaic, although there are some dark gems scattered here and there.
Charlie2300 - Clark Ashton Smith is an absolute treasure. Just discovered him last year & couldn't believe I hadn't read him before. Just intoxicating stuff.
The Eldritch Dark is a great site. Make sure you check out his poetry, too - CAS considered himself to be 1st and foremost a poet, & that was the work that he wanted primarily to be judged by.
Haven't read Sinclair, but I understand his work is somewhat analogous to Alan Moore's, so I imagine it's quite challenging.
I have not read Slow Chocolate Autopsy yet, but several other books by Iain Sinclair, and am quite a fan of his. His books are certainly not for everyone, though - they do demand quite a bit of work on part of the reader (but do reward it richly, I have found) and and anyone reading fiction mostly for the plot is unlikely to be very happy with them.
I think I approached it the wrong way, i.e a novel instead of a loose collection of short stories. However the prose doesn't help sometimes the language soars and I love it and try to work it out but at other times I am just not enjoying enough to wade through. All in all a difficult book!
I had a quick glance at some reviews and they indicate this may not be the best Sinclair has to offer so I will try again.
I've been reading Terrence Holt's In the Valley of the Kings based on a NY Times book review which compared him to Poe and Lovecraft. It actually took me a few stories to get into the feel of Holt's "voice" and get into the stories, but now I'm finding them pretty intriguing. One theme that seems to run through most of them is the nature of words and how they serve as a tool for relating to others, ourselves, the world. At the same time, there seems to be a skepticism of that efficacy of language. If you're into the more cerebral end of the weird and want to check out a new author, I highly recommend it.
#45 - clifsha, I've never read The Golem, so I can't really compare. I picked up Fledermäuse because I had heard enough about Meyrink's Golem to get me interested.
New Troll (as of today). Those are links to his/her blog postings.
#51 sounds intriguing.
Whilst looking for an excerpt (I reckon evry new book should have one!) online I found this (autobiographical?) story of his in Granta: http://www.granta.com/Contributors/Terrence-Holt
I have just finished (and heartily enjoyed) the charity (ProLiteracy) flash fiction book Last Drink Bird Head. Over 80 old & new authors contributed an amazing variety of 500 word stories inspried by the title. It's edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer too.
More info, the complete list of authors, excerpts over at:
I have Clark Ashton Smith's The Abominations of Yondo coming in the mail. I can't wait to read some non-Hyperborea Smith. Some a-hole stole the only CAS book from my local library...
Reading Light by M. John Harrison. About 70 pages in and starting to get a good feel for the story. Trying not to think too deeply just yet, just absorbing his words.
Recently finished Shriek. Excellent, though I would like to have had more detail on Sirin and Sybel. Perhaps their stories could be separate Ambergris books.
Oh, waw. This is a cool group, Weird Fiction. I was looking for a group like this because I use the 'Weird Fiction' tag when I'm tagging books and I thought I was just about the only person who referred to certain works as 'Weird Fiction' but it's nice to know there are others in the LibraryThing network who know the term.
I'm not reading anything that particularly falls into the Weird Fiction category at the moment but I read Terry Pratchett's 31st Discworld Novel yesterday, Monstrous Regiment but at the moment I'm just reading a mystery thriller called Relentless by Dean Koontz.
I usually read Weird Fiction books all the time but I enjoy a thriller every now and then.
Hi Jordan and (a belated) welcome to the group! I really enjoyed Monstrous Regiment when I read it but then I am a bit of a Prachett fan.
@59 I thought Sirin was a great peripheral character, very shadowy!
Just finished Gas, Sewer and Electric by Matt Ruff. Very enjoyable, with loads of fun ideas but they tend take precedence over the plot so it feels a bit disjointed. I didn't mind that though not with ironic homicides and zany eco pirates attacks with sausage and pie cream :)
61: I've been wanting to read that one by Ruff, but it has so far escaped me; thanks for reminding me to put it on my list. I did read Ruff's Bad Monkeys, and thought it quite enjoyable.
I'm glad there's still Finch that's waiting on my list. Ambergris is simply astounding.
Just picked up The Golden Age by Michal Ajvaz. So far quite weird and ethereal.
Hello all. I am extremely glad to see a group like this on Librarything. I'm currently reading the anthology "H. P. Lovecraft's Book of the Supernatural". I find it to be a very excellent read and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to read some of the tales that the old gentleman himself enjoyed reading.
I am reading all my Hanns Heinz Ewers to prepare for submitting a story to Side Real Press' upcoming Ewers tribute anthology: Alraune, Runa Raven's Strange Tales collection, Side Real's collection NachtMahr: Strange Tales, and Joe Bandel's translations.
Also Borges' The Aleph and others and The Master of the Day of Judgement by Perutz.
About halfway through the Side Real NachtMahr at the moment - beautiful book, dark, twisted stories. Look forward to that anthology.
Leo Perutz is great - we were lucky enough to get a whole series of paperback translations in the UK. By night, under the stone bridge is my favorite. One of those writers I've found a lot of people just don't 'get', though I'm not sure why not - he isn't difficult or obscure.
I'm reading Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Blackwood. It has some classics, such as "The Willows" and "The Wendigo." I don't know if it's just my imagination, but I really see Blackwood's influence on British weird and horror writers. The finely honed ambiguity in his stories seems like a forerunner of Robert Aickman, while his strong visual sense is reminiscent of Ramsey Campbell.
None, right now.
I finished The House on the Borderland on Sunday (well, basically read the entirety of it - I got all of one chapter in on Saturday), and am planning to dive into The King in Yellow as soon as I find the time to sit down and read anything again. I've read some of the stories before but intend to read the entire collection now.
Reading The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart, by Jesse Bullington. Not overly weird per se, but weird enough and very cleverly written. Quite humorous, too.
Not weird fiction, but related. I am reading I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft by S. T. Joshi.
Wasn't sure where to post this, didnt want to start a new thread but there is a greta intervew with China Mieville over at:
and to get back on track..
@70 how did you find The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart? it's on my TBR but I have heard mixed reviews?
Still not finished with it but like it very much. Have about 100 pages left and it's picking up after a slightly stagnant section. It reads quickly and is fairly violent, but in a noir-ish kind of way. I say go for it.
Finished The King in Yellow, just begun on The End of the Story (CAS).
Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air is really interesting. Probably labeled fantasy when you go to look for it, it's a little harder to pin down in reality. Pretty much any fantasy gives you an earth that has some familiarity to our own. This doesn't. Items and social mechanisms sometimes pop up over the river of strange like a king with no power, airships, steam power, but each of them function very differently than anything in our own world. The airships function with motors that have no part in our world. Steam power is connected to the Steam Men, a race of people that have their own country, who live on steam boilers like we live on air. Every chapter, once I start to get used to something, another weirdness is thrown my way. If that isn't enough, something world shattering is looming in their world, and I guess that is what it has in common with most other fantasies. Totally recommend.
@74. I must admit I have never heard of him (although I don't read plays), is his prose good?
@75 Must read some CAS this year.. I keep meaning to dip my toe in. Any reccomendations?
77 I keep meaning to read that as well. I have seen some negative comments saying there is too much going on but you make it sound as if that works :)
Currently reading 70536246::Cthulhu: The mythos and kindred horrors - a set of Lovecraftian tales by by Robert E. Howard (first published as such in 1987. Pretty old stuff obviously, but good fun.
p.s.: Ack, even by forcing the issue the touchstone doesn't work. This is it: http://www.librarything.com/work/115312/book/70536246
@78: The Return of the Sorcerer would be a good place to start with CAS.
Now reading Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts. Soviet UFO conspiracy satire. Well written so far and fun.
Count me in as one who could not easily digest The Court of the Air. Got nearly halfway through and had to stop. Might retry sometime.
Would like a summary of Ewer's NachtMahr. Does anyone know the plot of this short story?
82 sorry I don't.
To get my tastebuds ready for Embassytown I have just enjoyed this short story and thought you might too:
Most recently read Embassytown, and can't say enough about it. (clfisha's review says it all.) I work in a bookstore and have Staff Recommended both it and The City and the City. No one's demanded their money back so hopefully I've fostered some new China Mieville fans.
>clfisha -- re Iain Sinclair: his works demand a lot of the reader, but to me their impenetrability only adds to the appeal. For what may be his best novel check out White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings - read it twice so far. And if you can locate it, you have to hear the audio version of Iain's Downriver, with "audio atmospherics" by Wire's Bruce Gilbert (see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Downriver-Iain-Sinclair/dp/B00000ILK0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8...).
#83 Thanks for the link, that was my first taste of CM, think I might check out some of his books : )
Not sure if people in this group read young adult novels, but I have just started reading a series by Tom Becker called Darkside. It is about a secret, dark and nefarious alternative London that exists in a secret location in the ordinary London (referred to as Lightside) which is ruled by the descendants of Jack the Ripper and filled with supernatural creatures, freaks and criminals. Seems good so far.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and comments,
I'm going to check out many of the books and authors already mentioned.
I Just finished Occultation by Laird Barron. Excellent collection of evocative and bizzare short stories. Oddly (or perhaps not), I was most disturbed by "strappado" which had absolutely nothing of the supernatural in it.
I'm savouring The Tangled Muse by Wilum Pugmire - his latest collection of Lovecraftian fiction, many of which were previously published elsewhere, and many of which I've read before, although they were extensively rewritten for this volume. This volume is steep if you aren't a collector or fan but it is certainly lavish and a pleasure to read. Pugmire is eccentric, poetic, and utilizes a well developed personal mythology.
Just started Eldritch Evolutions by Lois Gresh. Picked it up because it got good reviews, but i'm not sure what I think of it yet. The stories seem to run the whole gamut of weird, and my first impression is that the stories are over all a bit trite for my liking. We'll see.
Almost done Feesters in the Lake by Bob Leman. Horror and weird. The stories are efficient and effective, and the first story "window" disturbed me greatly. Excellent book. Too bad he is not a prolific author.
I've been reading a copy of Ligotti's The Nightmare Factory for a year now, and although the weirdness of his writing consistently leaves me disoriented and awed, and the story "the frolic" has some of the most beautifully disturbing prose I've encounted, I must admit that I'm finding it a bit of a chore to slog through to the end.
Also just finishing Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link. Wow. These short stories involve some of the most creative intermingling of the fantastic and the modern ever. EVER. Brothers Grimm and Alice in Wonderland meets your own workaday life. Excellent stuff.
Finally, I'm just starting Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte tonight. I know it isn't technically "weird", but it was on China Mieville's top 10 horror stories of all time list - and i did really enjoy Perdido Street Station.
I'm reading at least 30-40 other "weird" books right now, but I hope these comments are helpful.
88 Oh dear haven't read any of those above apart from Kelly Link (loved) & Ligotti (too dry), have to take a look.
Finished and loved the illustrated novella The Lost Machine by Richard A Kirk. Aside from the great artwork it's great piece of new weird fantasy where one man leaves a plague ridden prison to track down a child killer: beautiful, mysterious and imaginative.
Just Finished Amelia Gray's Museum of the Weird. Very well done, but some of the stories are too short.
I'm currently reading M.R. James' and Arthur Machen's works for the very first time. I've found them all atmospherically creepy. Stephen King called Machen's "The Great God Pan" the scariest story ever written (he uses a paragraph from the story as an epigraph in "Just After Sunset"). I found almost all of James' and Machen's works via The Guttenberg Project.
I'm also reading Machen, wrapping up The White People and Other Stories after our recent Deep Ones discussion of "The White People". Machen really was ahead of his time as a stylist. I'm reading "A Fragment of Life" and finding some episodes of hilarity there as well as the numinosity typical of his weird works.
Long since finished and reviewed the Machen in #93, I'm now reading Declare by Tim Powers, and finding it sufficiently weird to remark here.
@95 sounds intriguing! I have only ever read Last Call by him, I loved the ideas but I thought the plotting could have been tightened up a bit.
Now reading The Case of Charles Dexter Ward - superbly paced and structured piece of work. I feel like I am in Providence.
Can I have some wierd advice please. I am a complete Lovecraft virgin but want to read some as everyone seems to think they are so wonderful, which book should I start with?
Lovecraft's medium was the short story, not the novel. I can't recommend a particular collection (now that most of his material is PD, they're countless), but key stories include "The Call of Cthulhu," "The Dunwich Horror," "The Whisperer in Darkness," and "The Shadow over Innsmouth." A long one with an important place in the horror tradition is "At the Mountains of Madness."
Thanks for the recommendations people I will put them on my tbr list for the next month.
Just finished a book worthy of mention: Hospital: A Dream Vision by Toby Litt. My review is here but this blurb should be enough to entice you or put you off.
Hospital is about blue murder and saving lives, having sex and surgery, falling in love and falling from a great height, crazy voodoo and hypnotic surveillance – it’s about the last days and the first days. And the Rubber Nurse knows you’ve been very naughty and is going to teach you a well-deserved lesson. It’s the story of a lost boy wandering the corridors of a strange, antiseptic building, looking and hoping for a chance to get home. And also of a man who won’t wake up despite the best efforts of the hospital staff – and while he sleeps, a threatening darkness settles over everything...
What Happened to Tom, by Christopher Taffen.
An allegorical horror story.
A psychological/philosophical thriller.
A must-read for every man.
I just started The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison, in Anima.
Read Lord Dunsany's Tales of Wonder (aka The Last Book of Wonder) over the weekend. Dunsany mixes the fantastic with the everyday in a very appealing manner.
Having finished The Course of the Heart, I read (and reviewed) The Beyond, which is the final volume of Jeffrey Ford's Well-Built City trilogy. Now I've returned to Anima to read Signs of Life. I'm holding off on my Course of the Heart review until I can include both books. But it might be worth mentioning here that the novel is an homage to Charles Williams with a tip of the hat to Arthur Machen. (The short story that grew into the novel was called "The Great God Pan.")
Just finished Gary Myers's The House of the Worm. Lovecraftian pastiches; specifically of Lovecraft at his most Dunsanian. Some of the stories are pretty good - the best is the final one, "The Maker of Gods" - some entirely forgettable.
ENDER'S GAME, Orson Scott Card
I was prepared to not like this book. Most of it's main characters are children--with the primary one being age 6--and I'm not all that fond of stories about children. This one surprised me, I was hooked early on, and wanted to know more about these gifted children who have to grow up fast. As the story begins our Solar System has been invaded twice by aliens, and the second time was almost a rout, with Earth being saved by one very intelligent person who had the aliens figured out. Now, years later, a third invasion is expected, and Earth wants to develop a leader who is intelligent and effective enough to win. Toward that end, the authorities recruit candidates almost from childbirth, and eventually find a very gifted child whose nickname is Ender. He is selected for the "games," and has to learn to take care of himself very quickly, including defending himself from very real physical threats--all from other very aggressive and competitive children--also gifted--who are part of the same program. They participate in mock battles, and advance by their own wits. Of course, as Ender gets more and more experience with the battles, he quickly excels, and becomes the primary choice. The book keeps you guessing until the end, and at times is very moving as Ender goes through not only physical and mental hardship, but emotional trauma as well. This is an intelligent story, very well thought out, and shows children in a far different light from what we usually see. This is a classic, and for good reason. I rate it at 5 out of 5 stars.
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